Category Archives: Information

Yes, you should major in Rhetoric and Writing

by Ben Sapet

Let’s talk about one of Ball State English’s least understood, but most practical concentrations: rhetoric and writing.

You might have seen some of the writing and rhetoric buzz words like discourse, theory, and even rhetoric itself, and been left scratching your head—and you wouldn’t be alone. I spent my entire first semester and a half as a writing and rhetoric major not really knowing what I had decided to study.

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Jacket Copy: The People Behind #bsuenglish

An Interview with Amanda Kavars

So, what is Jacket Copy?

Well, it’s an immersive learning class, and it’s a marketing internship. It’s about learning the workflow of an organization and working in teams. You don’t just study principles and strategies of communication–you actually apply them in real time.

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Good News Oct. 2018: Collaboration Galore!

Faculty News

Prof. Susanna Benko and her colleagues Dr. Emily Hodge and Dr. Serena Salloum completed a project for New America and the International Society for Technology in Education. Along with other researchers, their team contributed to the paper titled “Creating Systems of Sustainability: Four Focus Areas for the Future of PK-12 Open Educational Resources.” Specifically, Benko, Hodge and Salloum’s contribution focused on district and state policies that support the use of OER. You can read the report here!

Drs. Benko, Hodge, and Salloum also recently published a commentary in Teachers College Review titled “Instructional Resources and Teacher Professionalism: The Changing Landscape of Curricular Material Providers in the Digital Age.”  

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Jay Coles: Visiting YA Writer at Ball State University

By Rachel Lauve

Novelist and Ball State English Department alum Jay Coles will be visiting Ball State University to read from his work on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225. This event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, November 8th, Coles will visit ENG 307 (Intro Fiction Workshop) from 2:00-3:15 p.m. in Robert Bell (RB) 361 to discuss his writing and the writing life. This visit is also free and open to the public.

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5 Ways English Prepares You For A Dream Job

By: Maggie Sutton

You can do almost anything with a degree in English. Our alumni agree. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) agrees. Even Google agrees. Employers want the skills and experiences English majors have in spades.

So, what do you need to do to prepare for the “real world”?

1.Write Well

Employers want to hire skillful writers. NACE’s second most valued skill was written communication.

English classes help to polish written communication skills, so remember that when you’re buried in essay deadlines!

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Write On (Campus)!

By: Grace Goze

As English majors, it’s no secret we love reading, but let’s not forget about our passion for writing. Whether you’re a Creative Writing major or not, it may be hard to find groups on campus that just let you write for the sake of writing. Well, fear not writers, here is a compiled list of some of the big writing organizations on campus!

Writers’ Community

8 PM on Monday in RB 284
writers@bsu.edu or tdmckinney@bsu.edu

The Writers’ Community is a creative writing organization where folks can share and get feedback on their writing. We accept almost any medium of literature in most any genre. Folks have shared short stories, parts of novels, poems, songs, and much more.

“The organization is beneficial to students interested in writing, because we offer feedback and advice on shared works and creative writing in general. Students are free to share and discuss their ideas, plans, current works, etc. I encourage anyone who writes or who is interested in writing to come on down to a meeting and check it out.” — Ian Roesler

To find out more, check out our blog post specifically on Writers’ Community.  Writers’ Community can also be found on Twitter.

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You Should Join Writers’ Community!

By: Rachael Carmichael 

Come to Ball State University’s Writers’ Community and share your work with others in an encouraging environment. It’s a close-knit club, and the vibe is always positive.

A unique experience 

  • The Writers’ Community shares various forms and genres, from poetry and parts of novels, to song lyrics and short stories.
  • Writers are able to share their work, as well as receiving feedback and advice during group discussions.
  • This community is dedicated to listening to other writer’s ideas and works.
  • It’s an easy and great way to receive constructive critiques if you want to better your writing through other writers!

Their mission

The Writers’ Community wants to help others grow in their passion for expressing themselves through writing.

They accept everyone of any level of writing, from more experienced to beginners.

President of the Writers’ Community, Ian Roesler, hopes to expand the community, especially for those who are interested in writing but don’t know what their first steps are.

What can new members expect?

The meetings typically start off with Roesler giving an introduction and important announcements. Afterwards, there is an open floor for people to share their works if they have anything prepared.

Members don’t have to bring anything to share if they aren’t comfortable or aren’t ready.

After each piece is read, there will be a discussion so writers can get important feedback. Sometimes Roesler likes to incorporate other ways to induce creativity, such as: free writing or a fun writing prompt. These ideas happen typically during an evening when many people don’t have anything to share with the group.

Something Roesler is thinking about introducing are evenings where club members provide fun presentations on various literary genres that they’re interested in.

The meetings are held on Monday nights in Robert Bell 284 at 8:00 p.m. and they run for an hour. Everyone is welcome, whether they’re an English major or not. Members can expect a welcome and respectful environment full of enthusiastic and talented writers who love to share their work.

A message from current President, Ian Roesler:

“The Writers’ Community has helped me and others by providing feedback and advice on shared works. Discussions can lead to the formation of new ideas or whenever someone is stuck on something or they need guidance on where to go next in their respective work.”

Marianne Boruch: Visiting Poet at Ball State University

Poet and author Marianne Boruch will be visiting Ball State University on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225.  This event is free and open to the public.

Boruch will also be making one classroom visit to discuss her poetry on Thursday, October 18th: Boruch will visit ENG 408 (Advanced Poetry Workshop), from 9:30-10:45p.m. in the L. A. Pittenger Student Center 303.  This visit is also free and open to the public.

Chicagoan Marianne Boruch is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, and Cadaver, Speak.  She has also published three collections of essays, the most recent being The Little Death of Self, and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler.

Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  Among her honors are are four Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and two Fulbright Professorships.

Boruch was the founder of the MFA program at Purdue University, where she became a Professor Emeritus there last May.  She continues to teach in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Continue reading

Immersive Opportunities: Gain Hands-On Experience!

Are you wondering how you can get more involved in the department? Do you want to spice up your class schedule next year? Consider one of our many immersive learning classes! Immersive learning courses provide students with hands-on, real-world experience in their field of interest.

Previous courses have included Storytelling and Social Justice, where students published a book of true stories from community members to make poverty in Delaware County more visible, and Creative Writing in the Community, where students taught writing techniques to young writers in Muncie and published a collaborative anthology.

Fall 2018 English Immersive Learning Courses:

ENG 400: Book Arts Collaborative

This community letterpress and book bindery is located in the MadJax Building in downtown Muncie. Students learn to set type and hand-bind books, and each has the opportunity to become a student manager, where they’ll learn the ins and outs of business through collaboration with community partners. To learn more, contact Prof. Rai Peterson at rai@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Jacket Copy Creative

Students staff this in-house marketing agency for the English Department. They manage the department’s social media accounts, blog, and annual newsletter. Students learn storytelling strategies through practices in public relations, graphic design, editing, content marketing, and more. To learn more, contact Prof. Cathy Day at cday@bsu.edu.

ENG 489: The Broken Plate

In this class, students learn firsthand the editing and publishing world, as they produce this nationally distributed literary magazine. Students field submissions in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, art, and photography, and the journal is released at the annual In Print Festival of First Books. To learn more, contact Prof. Silas Hansen at schansen@bsu.edu.

ENG 400: Digital Literature Review

Students read deeply in literature, theory, and criticism on a vital topic, then produce a volume of this scholarly journal on that topic. Next year’s topic is Brave New Worlds: Utopias and Dystopias in Literature and Film. To learn more, contact Prof. Vanessa Rapatz at vlrapatz@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Rethinking Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Students will focus on rethinking characters in children’s and young adult literature to help shift the stigma associated with being disabled. The course culminates in the production of a comprehensive magazine/website containing resources on literature featuring disabled characters and fiction and non-fiction pieces co-created by students at BSU and the Burris Laboratory School. To learn more, contact Prof. Lyn Jones at ljones2@bsu.edu.

 

Sigma Tau Delta: Your Next Chapter

What is Sigma Tau Delta?

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society with over 900 active chapters in the US and abroad. The organization is open to all English majors and minors, including undergraduate and graduate students.

Ball State started its chapter in the fall of 2017 with 15 members. Our chapter focuses on community outreach, both on campus and in Muncie. Some possible events we’re planning for next year include a Bad Poetry Night, a book drive, and community reading sessions. Our year culminates at the international convention (next year’s is in St. Louis!) where students can present creative and critical works, meet other members from around the world, and immerse themselves in all things English for days on end.

Who can join?

Both undergraduate and graduate students can join!

If you are an undergraduate student who has taken at least two English or literature classes at the college level, are majoring or minoring in an English concentration, and have a GPA of at least 3.5, you qualify!

If you are a graduate student, you must be studying English (any concentration), have completed six semester hours of graduate work or the equivalent, and have a GPA of at least 3.5.

If you qualify, you should have received an email inviting you to join. If you did not receive an email but think you qualify, contact Mary Lou Vercellotti at mlvercellott@bsu.edu.

How can you join?

Turn in your application (printed) and a one-time fee of $40 to the English Department main office in RB 297 by 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 3.

Why should you join?

Scholarships

Members are eligible to apply for Sigma Tau Delta scholarships. Each year, the organization gives out scholarships valued at up to $5,000 each, including one to aid members who have an unpaid internship.

Internships

Sigma Tau Delta offers three awesome internships in publishing: the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, the Sigma Tau Delta Review, and a co-sponsored internship with Penguin Random House. (One of our chapter members is a top-five finalist for this one!) Members can also apply for scholarships to attend the Washington Center internship program.

Convention

We just got back from this year’s convention in Cincinnati, Ohio! Four of our members submitted work and presented at the conference, and two of them won money! Aside from possibly winning money for your writing, the convention gives you the chance to listen to peers’ work, take part in roundtable and panel discussions, attend professional development and informational sessions, network, and talk with authors (this year, featured guests included Christina Henriquez and Mary Norris). It’s not all just academic, though—the convention also hosts social events like an open mic night, a bad poetry competition, and a semi-formal awards gala.

Fellowship & Networking

Sigma Tau Delta allows you to connect with like-minded people on campus and off. You’ll befriend students you might not have otherwise met, build a stronger professional relationship with faculty members, and network with professionals in your desired field. You’ll geek out over punny English-themed t-shirts, eat lots of pizza, and laugh A LOT.

Follow our BSU Sigma Tau Delta chapter at @bsusigmatd on Instagram and Twitter, and like Ball State Sigma Tau Delta: Alpha Chi Upsilon chapter on Facebook! Contact bsusigmatd@bsu.edu with any questions.